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In White House meeting, Obama, Rousseff agree to improve trade, travel

US President Barack Obama and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff tour the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial with a National Park Ranger in Washington.
The United States and Brazil pledged today to increase their share of renewable energy in electricity generation from sources other than hydro-power to 20 percent by 2030 in an effort to show commitment to fighting climate change.

The two countries made the announcement in a joint statement issued while US President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met at the White House.

Brazil also committed to reforest 12 million hectares of forests by 2030 and agreed to put forward a broader climate change plan that is "fair and ambitious" and that "represents its highest possible effort beyond its current actions," the statement said.

Rousseff originally had accepted Obama's invitation for a formal state visit in October 2013, but skipped that visit after revelations from Edward Snowden that the United States had spied on Rousseff and other Brazilians.

There was no sign of remaining tension when Rousseff arrived in Washington yesterday. Obama greeted her with a hug, then took her into his motorcade for an impromptu visit to a memorial for civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

"This is the stone of hope," Obama told her, and pointed out King's most famous quotes inscribed in the monument's wall.

The two leaders then met for a working dinner at the White House.

It was another sign the two leaders have put the Snowden affair behind them.

"Obviously, we recognize that the US-Brazil relationship went through a turbulent patch after the disclosures that took place related to US intelligence activities a couple of years ago," said Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser.

"However, we went through a very thorough review of those activities and we worked hard, together with the Brazilian government, to address a variety of concerns, but importantly, to begin a new chapter in our bilateral relationship," Rhodes told reporters on a conference call ahead of the visit.

The visit is particularly important for Brazil, which is in the midst of a sharp economic downturn, a huge political corruption scandal, and a potential governance crisis.

Rousseff wants to attract more US investment to Brazil and funding for infrastructure projects.

After Washington, she will head to Silicon Valley to meet with executives at Google, Apple and Facebook.


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Tags:  Obama  Rousseff  US  Brazil  meeting  Washington  White House  bilateral relations  





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